PREVIEW: Pointers picked to win women’s volleyball titleThe University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets were picked to finish seventh in the nine-team conference.
The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the defending conference tri-champion, is the favorite to secure the 2012 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women’s volleyball championship, according to a preseason poll.
The Pointers, who split last year’s crown with UW-Whitewater and UW-Eau Claire, received eight first-place votes in the ballot. UWSP returns all seven starters and three All-WIAC first team performers from the 2011 squad that won the program’s first conference championship since 1981. The Pointers also put together a school-record 18-match winning streak and made their first NCAA championship appearance since 1985.
Whitewater captured the remaining first-place nod in the league projections and is slotted for second in the nine-team derby.
The regular-season crown in 2011 marked the 14th in program archives and the Warhawks also earned the WIAC tournament title for the 14th time. UWW head coach Stacy Boudreau needs four victories to reach 300 in her career.
The University of Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets were picked to finish seventh in the nine-team conference.
Superior’s 16 wins a season ago were the most since the 2007 squad posted 21 victories. Senior Farrah Wirtz finished second in the WIAC with 4.68 digs per set, while sophomore Keely Deadrick was fourth with .41 service aces per set and seventh with 7.75 assists per set.
Wirtz, a senior libero, was on the All-WIAC team last season on defense.
The Yellowjackets, who return 11 of 13 letterwinners and six of seven starters, will play 12 of their first 14 matches away from home to start the 2012 campaign. Also on the UWS squad is former Solon Springs Eagle Salann Gilbert.
Coach Lynne Deadrick is beginning her 10th season at UWS and has an overall record of 127-175. UWS opens its season Aug. 31 at a tournament in Milwaukee.
2012 Preseason Predictions
1. UW-Stevens Point (8) 26-8 7-1
2. UW-Whitewater (1) 26-8 7-1
3. UW-Eau Claire 22-13 7-1
4. UW-Oshkosh 18-18 4-4
5. UW-Platteville 21-16 4-4
6. UW-River Falls 16-18 3-5
7. UW-SUPERIOR 16-17 2-6
8. UW-Stout 5-23 1-7
9. UW-La Crosse 7-23 1-7